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Executive review (4/2004)

Felix Hess / Christian Androschin

2004

Our cover story, "Conquering the Great Wall" looks at the attractions of the Chinese market for European engineered products manufacturers. We consider how to make the most of the opportunities without losing sight of what is actually feasible. In our interview with Peter Zapf, head of Siemens Japan, he outlines his personal experiences as a European in Japan and the challenges of his new position.

Becoming a CEO is an extremely demanding task even without major cultural differences. New leaders must define the strategic direction as soon as possible while establishing their own management culture. Our background report, "The first hundred days" examines this situation in detail. "SalesUp!" is the name of a program designed to boost sales performance by cutting costs and improving sales impact. But striking the right balance between the two is something many companies find difficult.

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